2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S Review | carsales

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S Review | carsales

Zero to 100 in 2.8 seconds, zero to 200 in
9.8 seconds and a standing quarter under 11 seconds. But it’s not the straight line speed of
the Porsche Taycan Turbo S that redefines the modern performance EV, it’s the fact
it can do it 10, 20, even 50 times in a row. Repeatable real world performance, not a tweeted
claim, not an Internet promise, an ironclad guarantee from a company that’s been breaking
records for over 50 years. The Taycan is Porsche’s all new battery
electric super saloon and it’s the car that will probably change how you think about EVs. The Taycan Turbo and Turbo S are the building
blocks for a whole new generation of Porsche EVs. At their heart is a 94 kilowatt-hour battery
pack, twin electric motors and an innovative two-speed gearbox. All of this is wrapped up in a body that draws
heavily from the Mission E concept car. It’s about as close to a 911 as you can
get and still have four doors and room for luggage. The Turbo and Turbo S are the two model grades
at launch and, no, they don’t have turbos but what they do have is some very serios
polish and, boy, do they go. Performance in the most aggressive sport plus
mode is simply staggering. No, it may not match the claims of Tesla as
fastest but we’re talking about repeatable real world performance here that is available
at the turn of the dial. No battery preheating or prep required, just
floor the lab pedal and hold on. Yet, as impressive as the off the line performance
is, it’s out on the open road that this car really shines. It’s quiet unless you dial in Porsche’s
optional soundtrack. There’s instant torque and instant response
from 60, 120, even 180 kilometres an hour. In fact, overtaking performance feels more
like a superbike than anything else with four wheels. At this stage the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S
are unique in that they combine a twin motor set-up with a rear two-speed gearbox. That gives the car the ability, in sport and
sport plus mode, to have that really strong launch performance that you’d expect at
this power level. At the same time, because of that gearbox,
the pair have a true performance car top speed. We easily matched Porsche’s claim of 260
kilometres an hour on the Autobahn during the Taycan launch. What’s really impressive, however, is the
whole integration of this powertrain. These are pre-production cars and there are
a few little glitches but overall the polish of these cars is very, very impressive. So too are the capabilities of the all-wheel
drive and traction control systems. The Taycan Turbo and Turbo S is very much
a Porsche first and an electric car second. You can feel it through the control weighting,
you can feel it through the way the steering responds. Perhaps the only area that it really isn’t
exactly the same or on the same level as Porsche’s combustion engine cars is in the braking performance. Not that it’s not strong, it’s absolutely
strong, but it doesn’t have that real pedal engagement that you expect from the very best
of the hydraulic braking systems. What is especially impressive about the Taycan
is its road-holding and how well it performs in the corners. It’s a big, heavy car but it’s nimble
and, thanks to a very, very low centre of gravity, it never really overpowers its tyres
in the way you’d expect a car of this weight. Of course, there’s more to the Taycan than
just its drivetrain. The cabin gets the latest touchscreen interfaces
and materials and finish are all impressive. But it’s not perfect. It’s a little narrower than you’d expect
and headroom in the rear is tight. But there’s also some little glitches that
seem to be something that could easily be fixed. There’s nowhere, really, in this whole console
area, apart from back here, to put your mobile phone and the inductive charging for the mobile
phone, that’s the only place it is, back there. The pre-production cars we drove also had
a few noises and clunks that Porsche says it knows about and has fixed in the production
versions. In terms of range, there’s a WLTP-gazetted
number of around about 450 kms. Now, we’ve been driving pretty hard and
it’s showing an average consumption of 30 kilowatt hours per 100 kms. So, if we work that through at really high
performance levels, we’ve probably got a range of under 300 kilometres. But there’s not many places in Australia
you can cruise at 200 kilometres an hour for extended periods. So, in the real world Down Under, we reckon
you can bank on 350 kms without much worry. There’s billions of euros worth of development
gone into these new cars, and it shows. In fact, this is easily the best performing
and complete electric vehicle I’ve driven. Sure, you’ll pay plenty for the privilege
of sliding behind the wheel of a Taycan Turbo and Turbo S but I guarantee it will change
your opinion of EVs. Ultimately, it’s the overall excellence
and abilities of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S that makes it a gamechanger. It’s soothing, quiet and comfortable one
minute but what lurks beneath is an absolute beast. If this is the electric future of automotive,
I’m signed up.

About the Author: Michael Flood


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